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Heresy and Epithet: An Approach to the Problem of Latin Averroism, III Author(s): Stuart Mac Clintock Source: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Mar., 1955), pp. 526-545 Published by: Philosophy Education Society Inc. Stable URL: Accessed: 15/10/2009 11:26 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of
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  Heresy and Epithet: An Approach to the Problem of Latin Averroism, IIIAuthor(s): Stuart Mac ClintockSource: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Mar., 1955), pp. 526-545Published by: Philosophy Education Society Inc.Stable URL: Accessed: 15/10/2009 11:26 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. 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For more information about JSTOR, please contact Philosophy Education Society Inc.  is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Review of Metaphysics.  EXPLORATION HERESY AND EPITHET: AN APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM OF LATIN AVERROISM, III STUART MAC CLINTOCK V 1 he abbreviated accounts of William of Auvergne and Thomas Aquinas given earlier were introduced to show how some impor tant 13th century philosophers handled the problem of assimilating Aristotle to Christian doctrine, and to suggest the remarkable ingenuity, subtlety, and perseverance with which they approached this task.4* It must be remembered, of course, that these modes of assimilation involved essential modifications in both the letter and the spirit of the srcinal doctrines of the Stagirite. William of Auvergne identifies the active intellectual principle with God Himself as illuminating activity, and by thus completing Aristotle he is enabled to place his entire account in an Augus tinian framework. Aquinas is concerned to reject the Augus tinian hierarchical universe as far as he can, along with its illuminationist theory of knowledge, and so he effects his own alteration of Aristotle by placing the active intellectual principle in the souls of particular individuals, that is, he multiplies the principle into as many souls as there are individual men. But at the same time he has to restore some of the Augustinianism that he was trying to eliminate, for in order to be orthodox he must maintain that the soul is an immaterial incor ruptible entity, capable of separate subsistence. Historically speaking, this solution might be considered as going against the main current of 13th century Christian philosophizing; in general, his successors are found in the Augustinian tradition, holding for * For the first and second parts of this essay see this journal, VIII (Sept. and Dec. 1954), 176-99, 342-56.  HERESY AND EPITHET 527 illumination from God passed through the hierarchical universe, and accounting for the unity of the human individual by means of a plurality of substantial forms. We are once again back to the faculty of arts and to Siger of Brabant, and we are concerned to set forth his attitude toward the problem of the soul in Aristotle, not paraphrasing it, as was done earlier, but giving it in terms of the analytical discussion of the preceding two sections. A vitally important point must be made at the outset: Siger is not consciously attempting to accommodate Aristotle to the Faith. He is interested only in reconstructing the Stagirite's own argument in a systematic and coherent manner, regardless of whether the conclusions come into conflict with Christian doctrine or not. Admittedly, he recognizes that these conclusions are sometimes at variance with Christian teachings, and he makes no attempt to blink these variations, but there is not in Siger any of the Thomist conviction that reason, properly exercised, cannot do otherwise than confirm the truths of faith. No?Siger reluctantly finds that properly employed reasoning can sometimes produce conclusions in conflict with truths of faith. His analysis of the Aristotelian doctrine of the soul, as presented in his De anima intellectiva, leads him to conclude that the rigorous application of systematic reasoning to the given premisses could have led to no other answers than the ones that Aristotle seems to reach. Bonaventure, faced with this dilemma, assumed that Aristotle's reasoning was proper and therefore concluded that his premisses must have been wrong; Aquinas agrees with Siger that the premisses were correct and therefore decides that the reasoning was faulty or perhaps merely inadequate, since the conclusions reached fail to confirm the truths of the Christian Revelation. Siger, however, finds both the premisses and the reasoning proper, and thus he is ultimately forced to the device of calling the resulting conclusions only philosophical and saying that they are always replaceable by the apodeictic certainties of the Faith. The recent research on Siger?Gilson, Van Steenberghen, and Nardi?has recognized that he was by no means insincere, or deliberately controverting the Faith; these commentators well understand that he is trying carefully and dispassionately to set forth the Aristotelian argument in all its consistency. When the  528 STUART MAC CLINTOCK conclusions reached appear to be contrary to Christian doctrine, he can do no more than say, as he does: It must be pointed out, as was remarked at the outset, that our prin cipal intention is not to investigate what the truth is with respect to the soul, but rather what the opinion of the Philosopher was regarding it.47 or again, he cautions: For we are here asking only about the intention of the pMlosophers, and especially about that of Aristotle, although possibly what the Philosopher felt was otherwise than the truth; and there have been passed on through Revelation certain things about the soul, which cannot be attained by means of natural reason. But at this point we are not concerned with miracles, for we are discussing natural things in a natural fashion.48 or finally: We say that the Philosopher felt in this way concerning the union of the intellective soul with the body; always wishing, however, to prefer the doctrine of the Holy Catholic Faith, if the teaching of the Philosopher is contrary to it. . . / Clearly the strict interpretation of Aristotle of the kind that Siger gives has been subjected to many pressures?rational attacks and ecclesiastical warnings?and his remarks reflect these assaults, with their recognition that Aristotle, systematically taken, con cludes in opposition to the Faith at several crucial points; 47 Siger, De anima intellectiva, ed. cit., 163: Dicendum, sicut et a principio dictum est, quod nostra intentio principalis non est inquirere qualiter se habeat veritas de anima, sed quae fuit opinio Philosophi de ea. 48 Ibid., 153-54: Quaerimus enim hicsolum intentionem philosophorum et praecipue Aristotelis, etsi forte Philosophus senserit aliter quam veri tas se habeat et per revelationem aliqua de anima tradita sint, quae per rationes naturales concludi non possunt. Sed nihil ad nos nunc de Dei miraculis, cum de naturalibus naturaliter disseramus. This last sentence is paraphrased from Albertus Magnus, in his commentary on the De generatione, who says: . . . dico quod nihil ad me de Dei miraculis, cum ego de naturalibus disseram. Opera omnia, ed. Borgnet, IV (Paris, 1890), 363. 49 Ibid., 156-7: Hoc dicimus sensisse Philosophum de unione animae intellectivae ad corpus; sententiam tarnen sanctae fidei catholicae, si contraria huic sit sententiae Philosophi, praeferre volentes. . . .
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